Election 2017 headlines – how many Lib Dem MPs are there and who are they?

At present, the Lib Dems have 12 confirmed victories, a net increase of 3. They are:

    1. Tom Brake (Carshaton and Wellington) – re-elected
    2. Vince Cable (Twickenham) – newly-elected
    3. Alistair Carmichael (Orkney and Shetland) – re-elected
    4. Ed Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) – newly-elected
    5. Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) – re-elected
    6. Wera Hobhouse (Bath) – newly-elected
    7. Christine Jardine (Edinburgh West) – newly-elected
    8. Norman Lamb (North Norfolk) – re-elected
    9. Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne) – newly-elected
    10. Layla Moran (Oxford West and Abingdon) – newly-elected
    11. Jamie Stone (Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross) – newly-elected
    12. Jo Swinson (East Dunbartonshire) – newly-elected

Of those 12, four have never been MPs before.

Five seats which the Lib Dems held until the election was called were lost:

  1. Ceredigion (Mark Williams)
  2. Leeds North West (Greg Mulholland)
  3. Richmond Park (Sarah Olney)
  4. Sheffield Hallam (Nick Clegg)
  5. Southport (John Pugh – standing down)

The party’s vote share was 7.2%, down slightly from 7.9% in 2015.

We’ll have more analysis throughout the day.

* Nick Thornsby is a day editor at Lib Dem Voice.

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62 Comments

  • It’s more than I dared to hope for before yesterday, and we’ve played our small part in depriving the Tories of their majority.

    But there’s a sting in the tail: Fife NE lost by 2, Richmond Park by 45, Ceredigion by 104, St Ives by 312. It was so close to being significantly better, and with so many close losses there’s a sense of what might have been?

  • So sad we came so close but fell minutely short in 3 constituencies (which would have given us 2 more female MPs). And very sad to see a class act in Nick Clegg lose. But at least we gained seats. Worryingly though, we seem to have become non-entities in around 400 seats. Writing from Australia, perhaps we need to look at a massive membership drive (preferably not a religiously driven person) under a newly-elected leader, stressing the importance of Education and a genuine NON-NEGOTIABLE move to free tertiary education and a lowering of the voting age to 16. We must be known for something other than opposition to Brexit…

  • Congratulations on the wins and condolences for the losses.

    So sorry to see Nick lose his seat. Regardless of anything that might happen: I still agree with Nick. After a rest, I hope he finds a way to keep using his great skills, experience and compassion to keep making our country a better place.

  • I meant to write ‘under the leadership of a religiously driven person’

  • First of all, I want to say well done to everyone who has worked so very hard over the last couple of months. There will be plenty of time for more thoughtful analylsis of what worked, and what might have been if only we’d done something different. Missing out on North-East Fife is particularly painful, but a lesson to everyone on how every vote can count – but also how dangerous it can be when mis-information about who might win gets out there. I’m marginally comforted by the fact that Stephen Gethins seems to be one of the more reasonable SNP MPs,

    I’m absolutely gutted to lose the Richmond Park seat by any margin, especially such a small one. Sarah Olney was showing so much promise as our newest MP, and she was just beginning to motor. The Tories played a dirty campaign IMO, and have resented her original victory when they should have blamed Goldsmith. It’s upsetting that not enough intentioned Labour supporters were convinced to support Sarah. I’m sure many of them will be kicking themselves this morning.

    It’s only a few extra MPs, but a 50% increase in seats is arguably very impressive, especially when it was very nearly a 75% increase. Targeting clearly works, which is why we shouldn’t fret too much about the drop in our vote share. In spite of a small drop in absolute vote share, we are now the party with the 3rd highest vote share, and while it’s a long way behind the Tories and Labour, we’ve now got more than double the vote share of the SNP, and more than three times the vote share of UKIP. This must mean we are entitled to many more appearances on Question Time and the Sunday morning politics shows than over the last couple of years.

    My final thought for this morning is that we have a good balance of candidates in terms of age, experience and gender. It’s disappointing to lose our Welsh seat, but gaining Bath, Oxford and several seats in London and Scotland gives us a decent geographical spread. I’m especially pleased we kept Norman, who I feared might be a victim of circumstances entirely unrelated to his ability and service.

    Final, final thought – how impressive is John Curtice and his team?

  • I am afraid we should worry about our vote share

    Per seat it is lower than we were getting in the 1950’s

    We cannot claim to be a credible national party if we cannot do something about this

    The party is still being hollowed out and we are bound to face another election within a year

  • We need to consider the vote share, but not just look at the headline figure at face value. We need to think about why it is what it is, and not just panic. We were deliberately targeting certain seats, which meant neglecting others. Voters who might like us knew that there wasn’t any point.

    It’s clearly something we want to move in an upwards direction, but that has to be bundled up with subjects like tactical voting and the importance of electoral reform. The general sense of ‘irrelevance’ is partly down to the difficulty we’ve had in getting the juicy media slots. If we can use our 50% increase in MPs wisely, we will get a higher media profile.

    I’m also pleased to see that, if only/partially for tactical reasons, the science writer, Ben Goldacre, backed Layla Moran, and encouraged relevant followers to do the same. https://twitter.com/bengoldacre/status/872709025246269440

    For those who don’t know, Ben is a well known and respected strong advocate of better evidenced-based medicine and policy-making, and is an ally we should nurture. I think he is/was naturally Labour, but is pro-EU and has been encouraging pragmatic politics and voting.

  • Considering the other possible outcomes this looks about as good as it could get – Tories and SNP get a thorough kicking. Mr Corbyn kept out of power. But, and its a big but; I’m afraid as Lib Dems we failed to break through when this election should have been a golden opportunity. Not looking for knee jerk reactions but I think the leadership needs to seriously look at its present direction. Tim fought a good campaign but he simply hasn’t connected with voters. Great local MP and solid performer but the general public are looking for something more. They are looking for a fresh face that connects with them. Not the old guard i’m afraid – look at the Scottish Tories as an example. Bit of fire, bit of straight talking and see where it gets you.
    Most likely scenario at this stage is a stumbling Tory/DUP alliance that rapidly falls apart once Brexit realities kick in. Dare I say it but another election within 12mths is not beyond the realms of possibility. In which case instead of dithering on what might have been lets get our changes done sooner rather than later and claim back that middle ground

  • Andrew McCaig 9th Jun '17 - 9:56am

    As far as I am concerned the only good thing about last night (leaving aside the hubris of Theresa May) was that we were not wiped out.
    Losing in Hallam (where I was born), in Leeds NW (where I helped), losing by two votes in NE Fife (where I lived for a year), and last but not least going backwards and losing our deposit in Huddersfield, where I organised a campaign that put between 1 and 3 leaflets in every household promoting a pro-European message, all of which was completely ignored by the electorate.
    Losing votes while gaining a handful of seats is NOT something to celebrate, and we have to really worry that our core vote in so many places has fallen to 2% or less.

  • Andrew McCaig.
    I disagree. It’s a start. During the election a number of pundits were predicting more lost seats. After all, this was supposed to be a coronation and a landslide. instead it is a tory disaster of historic significance and possibly the death of the SNP. Sure, I wanted the Lib Dems to do better, but the argument for PR is stronger than ever and boundary changes seem to be off the cards. It something to build on rather than wallow in despair about.

  • Philip Rolle 9th Jun '17 - 10:57am

    It was not as bad as I thought for the Lib Dems and there is hope that with a better directed campaign the number of MPs could be doubled. The party is still in hiding in the south west, where I don’t think they are keen on Tim Farron.

  • Andrew McCaig 9th Jun '17 - 11:26am

    Philip,
    Not just in the SW.. A glance at the leadership ratings in the polls or half an hour doorstepping in Yorkshire will tell you that…

    Glenn, we are back in two party politics and PR is firmly off the agenda… We are now a Party of SW London, parts of the Home Counties and a few bits of Scotland. Everywhere else the electorate think we are irrelevant.
    I do agree that if we can manage to get the reduction in seats cancelled it gives us a chance of winning back seats like Leeds NW and Hallam…

  • Sue Sutherland 9th Jun '17 - 11:36am

    We are now in double figures and are much more representative of the population. We have Vince back so we can start weighing in about the state of the economy under the Tories. We also have some second places that can be worked on for the next election. I am amazed at how well we have done after our come back seemed to have sputtered out in the local elections.
    I think our greatest threat is that we are likely to have another general election quite soon when the government fails so we’ll need to carry on campaigning in our most hopeful seats which will require energy and funding. We seem to have lots of the former and hopefully with a larger party we’ll get more funding too. I’m still hopeful that this result will somehow open up opportunities to reverse Brexit.
    I shall be very interested to see what happened with tactical voting in this election. I suspect that our voters in some seats where Labour was second may well have voted tactically but Labour voters didn’t always reciprocate. This may be something we can work on if we are seen to vote more with Labour than the Tories.
    Yes, we are still wounded, but we are recovering and a hung parliament may give us unexpected opportunities so please don’t despair, stay strong.

  • Richard Murphy 9th Jun '17 - 11:41am

    So pleased for Stephen Lloyd (Eastbourne)
    A lovely guy and would hope future leader of the party.

  • It is astonishing how we have collapsed completely in many places and how Labour has displaced us. But we have survived and we should be grateful for that. We do not know what will happen next, another election unlikely because Labour will probably carry on their momentum so the Conservaives would not want that.
    In the meantime we must radically overhaul our campaigning strategy, its team and ideas, we just gave the field to Labour in the first two weeks and paid a heavy price. We got good publicity when we announced the 1d income tax rise but then virtually nothing. Hopefully the Cons will still be on the defensive next May and that should help us in the Council elections, from then we may be able to build.

  • Of course there will be time for reflection. The problem is that maybe not a lot of time. We do not want to leave the elephant in the room too long. I voted for Tim as I thought the party needed a proven campaigner to help the fightback. It was working until the election was called but it has to be said that being the national figurehead of the lib Dems and Tim farron did not mix. I think he needs to concentrate on keeping his seat in…. October? A new leadership contest would actually help us, gain some publicity and make us say what a lib dem believes in. Just a thought…

  • Nick Cotter 9th Jun '17 - 12:45pm

    Oh no already mention of a change of leader – up to Tim of course ultimately but I Hope very much Indeed that he remains our leader.
    I wish no malice against Nick Clegg but frankly he only held on last time because of support from David Cameron. 48 or 49 of his colleagues were not so lucky in 2015.

  • Martin Gentles 9th Jun '17 - 12:49pm

    Its such a shame we lost Clegg. He would have been so great in this parliament. Such a shame.

  • Paul Murray 9th Jun '17 - 1:20pm

    Looks like 370 lost deposits.

  • @ JonathanM You want new leadership that is not under “A religiously driven person”.

    I am not a religiously driven person very (far from it, but I find your comment unacceptable and just about as illiberal as it is possible to be. I suggest you give some very hard thought to the party constitution which states,

    “We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience”.

    With the exception of Mr Clegg, every Liberal leader that I have known, starting with Jo Grinond, has held a religious faith. Whilst I don’t, but I respect the individual’s right to have it.

  • Alasdair Brooks 9th Jun '17 - 1:49pm

    Neither as good as I’d hoped at the beginning of the election, nor as bad as I’d feared in the final days of the campaign.

    I won’t try and pretend it wasn’t a mixed result, and clearly we still face significant challenges moving forward – but if we’re still in intensive care as a party, we’re no longer on life-support. I always thought it would take us two general elections to recover properly – and that was when I was expecting the next election in 2020 – so I’ll take what I can get.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 9th Jun '17 - 1:53pm

    Excellent to see knew mps , pr is on the agenda, as is a progressive alliance that is more than that .

    I support us backing Tim Farron, but I want Tim to recognise in a very strong and stable way that we need , not the words , this was not an anti Brexit result or pro Brexit result, we need a measured constructive approach to it and more, that, and real understanding of the underdog, that helped Corbyn above all !!

  • Lorenzo Cherin 9th Jun '17 - 1:57pm

    P. S.

    Staunchly concur , David Raw , so correct, a religious faith is utterly in keeping every bit of it , with a political philosophy, Tim merely should spend more of his valuable religious contact with more small liberal Christians !

  • Lorenzo Cherin

    “this was not an anti Brexit result or pro Brexit result”

    I couldn’t agree more. This was about paying for social care and tuition fees. It was also about a dreadful Tory manifesto and a Prime Minister who couldn’t cope with being asked questions.

  • ‘under the leadership of a religiously driven person’
    Bring back Mr. Gladstone
    Is Methodism fading in the West Country?

  • We survived against the odds.
    I suggest the party urgently needs to call an Assembly with two members from each constituency party, cartainly by the end of the month, so that the full feelings are aired about what we did, how we did it, who was responsible, how we can get back the heavy losses to Labour and recommend how the failings can be put right. There may be some very hard issues to face. We almost cease to exist in almost half of the constituencies.

  • Eddie Sammon 9th Jun '17 - 3:10pm

    Congrats to everyone who worked for Lib Dem victories but 7.4% isn’t good enough and it’s the party’s national messaging that was at fault, I believe. Soft brexit should have been embraced, not a second referendum.

    The party will struggle to come back in places where it has come third because the power of the squeeze message is lost.

  • Matthew Huntbach 9th Jun '17 - 3:27pm

    Andrew McCaig

    We are now a Party of SW London, parts of the Home Counties

    Well, not even that. One of the main reasons I joined the Liberal Party was that it was the clear challenger to the Conservatives across much of south-east England where I lived. Now I see in almost all those constituencies where at one time it looked like with a bit more push we’d overcome the Tories we are back to third place, and in some a very poor third place. I appreciate that to some extent that is because there was a need to target so at least we ended up with some MPs. Even so, I have to admit – I am struggling now about what is the point of the party any more when it no longer exists for the reason I joined it.

    Seriously, I may well leave it.

  • Bernard Aris 9th Jun '17 - 4:04pm

    *) Congratulations to all elected MP,
    *) and commiserations to the four who lost by a whisker, and
    *) of course to Nick Clegg, the what we Dutch call “katjang” MP (Indonesian-Dutch descent). we lost a statesman from our commons team; deep respect!

    I got the distinct impression that the Tution Fees freebee was deliberately issued by Labour to scupper both Nick Clegg and for example our Cambridge candidate. But we won Oxford…

    How the DUP thinks to maintain an open border with Ireland (their close friends since the Easter Rising in Dublin) and still keep out hordes of Polish, Syrian, Afhan and Bangladeshi refugees continues to baffle me to bits.

  • @Matthew Huntbach
    I sincerely hope not.
    There are not normal times.
    I am going to see what the party concludes from this experience.
    One thing for sure is that there is no time to waste. With the odds on another GE in the next two years the planning needs to start now.

  • paul barker 9th Jun '17 - 4:26pm

    Some of the more pessimistic among us should remember that we got 18% in The Local Elections a Month ago, lots of committed Voters obviously still think we are relevant to Local Politics & we can build on that.
    Our National Vote Share fell slightly but that was partly because our Targetting Strategy worked.
    The fundamentals of British Politics havent changed, Brexit will still be a car crash, Labour & Tories are still fractured & there is still a big gap in The Centre that we can fill.

  • Neil Sandison 9th Jun '17 - 4:37pm

    Elections wins are not won on election night but are earned by the amount of ground work you put in well before election day .We need to get back to pavement politics asap and start planning to win in next years district and borough elections encourage our new members to stay active and open up your candidate lists in your local party to new entrants .
    Who ever said the fight back would be easy it must continue ward by ward ,district by district division by division seat by seat .

  • Where do we go from here ? well, we were the only party apart from the Tories who were defending student loads. Sorting that seems a fair place to start.

  • I get the impression we are quite liked in Scotland but not so much elsewhere. I don’t think Farron has done well and his religion is a problem. The national campaign was rubbish. At best we helped Labour by focusing on negative attacks on the Tories while letting Labour provide all the solutions.

    We were aided by a dreadful Tory campaign, without which I’m not sure we would have won more than a few seats outside of Scotland.

  • As a relatively new member I have found this election very frustrating and I understand where Matthew is coming from as I to and based in South East.
    I was keen to get involved locally but despite relying to 4 emails when my local party requested help I got no response. I even wet down to the canvassing in the town centre and requested things to do in person.
    Maybe it was because I hadn’t really got involved in the party for about 30 years!

    But I must also agree with Neil that groundwork needed to be done for local elections as that is obviously the way to build the local vote. Silence can only mean you are ignored. I didn’t see 1 poster on any leaflets in my constituency hence why the vote was so low and deposit lost

    If we do have 100,000 members we urgently need to integrate them and retain their support and loyalty

  • Economic strategy would be the central topic for the next election, especially when Brexit is now clear.

    British industries are heavily reliant on imported inputs, which means that Brexit would drive up production costs for businesses.

    Therefore, we should begin to develop a new industrial strategy that focus on building up local supply chains to reduce import dependency, and focus heavily on exports (to take advantage of weaker pound). In other words, we need an export-oriented industrial plan with some import substitution. For those who oppose mercantilism, remember that mercantilism is the only thing that can turn a country into an industrial power.

    Additionally, the next Tory government is very likely to recognize China as a market economy, which the EU has consistently avoided to do to protect security and industries.

  • Tim’s religion shouldn’t be a problem for any liberal, and I found it remarkable that a few years after tabloids were concerned about Nick being an aesthetic, there was a sudden and urgent concern regarding a politician with a personal faith. Of course, few in the media were actually bothered and it was a classic campaigning tactic to prevent people from talking about our message. As Tim wasn’t hugely known, the diversion stuck and probably will, regardless of actual attitudes and voting activity. I’d argue that it is diminishing returns for our opponents, but fairly or not, it will always hamper a bit.

    There may be a case for a fresh leader for a fresh reputation, but don’t think that our rivals and the media won’t try to find new offence by twisting something apparently innocuous. IMO, the best protection from attempts to smear is to get more of our higher profile faces well known as widely as possible. It’s the boy band approach – there’s bound to be one you identify with, and if one does something you don’t like, it’s easier to gloss over.

  • According to pollster BMG 20% of voters were voting tactically. This renders the headline voting numbers less relevant than they might be. I hope the next stage is an immediate call to arms to be ready for the 2018 May Elections with the fullest possible slate of candidates. And of course, we need to be ready for the next snap election, and ruthless targeting of the seats we can obviously aspire to make progress on. And my thoughts tonight are with Elizabeth and Sarah, to lose is one thing, to lose by so few is something else…

  • Is anyone with local knowledge able to account for why Tim did so badly in his own seat, only just hanging on ? It was a night of surprises some good others not, but I wasn’t expecting that. While not enthused on the idea of a leadership change, there may be an issue with a leader who will have to spend much more time in his own constituency in a future campaign.

    Our results in the north of England were especially bad, losing 3 seats and being some distance away from a breakthrough anywhere. What reason for that, I wonder.

    Think that the David Penhaligon approach should be applied in all seats we hold or came close to winning. David failed to win Truro in the February 74 election, but didn’t cease campaigning, knowing another election was imminent. His was the only Liberal gain in October 74, as a result of his persistence. We’ve got to be prepared for another election sooner rather than later…

  • David Evans 9th Jun '17 - 9:26pm

    First of all a massive thank you and congratulation and admiration to the OXWAb team and Layla Moran for their inspiring success. They have shown that even in these hugely difficult times to lose an MP, hold it together, establish a new Lib Dem as a well known name, and then win again. I know they are all dedicated and was lucky enough to meet several of them in Witney less than a year ago.

    Secondly commiserations but our undying thanks to Sarah Olney and the Richmond Park team. You gave us our chance to re-establish our party as more than just the also ran it had virtually become. You changed career, gave it your all and we are all very grateful. The power of money is huge, but you so nearly did it again, and if truth be told you deserved to do it.

    Thirdly congratulations and respect to Wera Hobhouse for taking up what to an outsider looked like a hospital pass, at very short notice and restored Bath to where it rightly belongs, as a Lib Dem stronghold. The team there are clearly a formidable fighting unit and deserve their success.

    And finally congratulations to all our MPs for taking a chance on Liberalism and making it work. You have helped us turn back from the brink and given us a chance to rebuild. It will still be hugely difficult but you have made sure that we have a chance of a future.

    And finally, finally commiserations to all those who didn’t quite manage it this time; those who held on in 2015, but were swept away this time and those who again in 2017 took the battle to the forces of fear, oppression, grievance and exploitation (i.e. the conservatives) and the forces of naïve hope, enthusiasm and dreams but no idea how to pay for it all and the ultimate death of youthful optimism for so many, the Labour party. We will never forget what you did for us all.

  • Katharine Pindar 9th Jun '17 - 11:06pm

    Keep on campaigning, as you say, Alex B, and building up the local councillors. Theakes, the party has its structures already to evaluate election results, and can consider and pass new motions at the Federal Conference in September. Demanding a new leader would surely be a useless knee-jerk reaction, since in this election the national focus was on just the two leaders, May and Corbyn, so any Lib Dem leader would have struggled. It’s very sad that we won’t any longer have Nick Clegg to complement Tim, but there are fresh talents in our new MPs.

    Canvassing with local councillors in Tim’s constituency, I found some resentment that their devoted hard-working and effective local MP had to be away on national business so much , and some tendency to say they couldn’t vote for him as national leader, because he couldn’t be PM, and there was that Mrs May to lead us through the trying times to come. Then there were people welcoming Brexit, and those who didn’t want another referendum, and too many ‘undecided’. This is just my snapshot, but the local councillors already knew and told us he was having a hard time, and so the word went out for us to leave our own no-hope-this-time constituencies and help him, which I am glad we did.

    I am hopeful now that as the only party committed to the EU and understanding the complexities of Brexit, we shall have growing influence in the chaotic parliament and fraught negotiations to come, and be able to help the country to a better outcome than May ever could.

  • Ian Patterson 9th Jun '17 - 11:33pm

    Pace Tim in Westmoreland. Last Sunday I and 4 others from Gateshead went to Kendal to assist in Tim’s campaign. We were sent into the wilds of the coast with useless maps, disconnected literature to push through unidentifiable addresses and a final session of sticking post it notes on envelopes, for subsequent stuffing.

  • The scale of the complete shellacking in the North hasnt been much commentated on. But between Oxford and Edinburgh there is only one Lib Dem seat and you can drive along the whole length of the M62 and only pass through one constituency where the Lib Dems held their deposit.

    That does have some implications for any Progressive Alliance type talks. What exactly are the Lib Dems bringing to the table when they are to all practical purposes non-participants in so many seats.

  • If that’s the criteria for a progressive alliance, then what do the Greens and SNP have to offer?

    That we kept seats in pro Brexit seats is a testament to the reputation of the local MP and the hard work of local campaigners.

  • I think we need to accept that this result was better than many of us feared in the final week, but worse than it could and should have been looking from six or even two months out.

    UK politics is very fluid just now, and we shouldn’t rush into decisions. Tim is a decent man and ran an energetic but strategically flawed campaign . I, and most people I know, had many more conversations on the doorstep defending him from criticism from otherwise sympathetic voters than we did graciously accepting complements –
    and that’s a concern because, other than 2015 Clegg (but very much not 2010), leaders tend to be an important electoral asset for us.

    There will come a time for him and others to reflect on how the party goes forward, and the role he plays in that. Let’s not rush – enjoy the summer, grab some popcorn and watch Tory woe, see whether Corbyn reaches out to his rebels or seeks to crush them. But later in the year, I’d like Tim and his team to reflect and quite possibly decide his talents are for things other than strategic leadership in a complex political scene.

  • Good points James.

    I’d add that momentum, and perception of momentum is important in attracting and repelling coverage and votes. In this election, the Tories and SNP are on the way down, while Labour and ourselves are on the up.

    And yet both Labour and ourselves find ourselves in opposition and with lower numbers than we are capable of and at some point we need to square that circle with the resources available to us before the next election – whenever that may be.

    Any rush to change leadership will be perceived as failure at a time when we need to be selling ourselves as cohesive and successful. Let’s let all of our new and returning MPs get settled in Parliament and their constituencies, and take some time to listen to what people are telling us and to reflect on what has and hasn’t chimed.

  • I think James captures my thoughts perfectly. At the start of the campaign, I was daring to hope for 20+ seats. By the end, I would have been happy for us to have stayed at 8 or 9. To gain 8 seats, and to be so close in a further 4, was heartening. Losing the 5 that we did was deeply disappointing. But overall, we have a good team which (a) contains some hard-hitters like Vince and Ed, and (b) is the most gender-balanced Lib Dem team we’ve ever had, is a result I’m happy with.

    I do think Tim, as fantastic as he is, just failed to connect this election. He’s an excellent campaigner and has done a tremendous job in keeping the party’s spirits going since 2015, but something was missing that might have allowed us to take greater advantage of the opportunities presented. But we shouldn’t make any rash decisions. Let’s sit back, watch what happens to the Tories and Labour over the summer, and re-assess in the autumn. A new election is, I think, inevitable, within the next twelve months and maybe even sooner. So the team needs to be ready to hit the ground running. But I think we can allows ourselves a few weeks respite.

  • A lot of good sense being talked here. But let’s turn to the most important question of all….. How do we pronounce Wera?? (Seriously. Can anyone from Oxford advise?)

  • Peter Watson 10th Jun '17 - 2:55pm

    @Fiona “… ourselves are on the up”
    I think the party risks lulling itself into a false sense of security if it believes this, compounded by the false narrative with which its leaders have fooled themselves over the last 6 years.

    Vote share was down and there were significant losses. Half of the “new” seats were returning previous incumbents after apparently intense targeted campaigning and on the back of a swing away from the Tories. Gains in Scotland might have as much to do with anti-SNP tactical voting as any pro-Lib Dem tendencies. If the party had achieved this weeks’ results in 2015 it would have been no less disappointed than it was then.

    There are good points. More MPs will raise the profile of the party. I believe that replacing Clegg with Cable in Parliament is a step in the right direction (though appreciate that some Lib Dems will disagree). Sharing the presentational duties in some policy areas, particularly with a figure like Cable, should allow the party to take advantage of Tim Farron’s personal appeal (if he can avoid performances like the Andrew Neill interview).

    I think the party needs to take a step back and decide exactly what it is for rather than define itself by what it is against. If anything, the last few years have surely shown that depending on disaffected Labour and Conservative voters in different parts of the country is not reliable. The party looks directionless and the campaign seemed to be a series of inconsistent juxtapositions: pro-soft Brexit vs. anti-any Brexit, Farron’s christian beliefs vs Farron’s liberal positions, voting against tuition fees then vs. keeping them now, Coalition policies vs. pre-Coalition policies vs. current policies, legalising cannabis vs. not wanting our kids to smoke the stuff, no new grammar schools vs. keeping the existing ones, etc. This all needs to change.

  • Peter Watson 10th Jun '17 - 3:19pm

    @Peter Watson “swing away from the Tories”
    Strictly speaking I suppose it wasn’t a swing away from the Tories at all, but it has certainly felt like one!

  • Phil Beesley 10th Jun '17 - 3:19pm

    At the 1979 General Election, Liberals had an election broadcast showing David Steel relaxed in a leather chair in front of a hearth. The scenario made him look mature and knowledgable. Steel talked calmly about the previous four years and saved many Liberal seats.

    That’s what Tim Farron needs. Probably not an armchair but the idea that he is a thinking man.

    An election broadcast used to mean a 10 minute telly programme on all channels at the same time. Adjusting to the internet world, a broadcast is more like a “meme”; spread it if you like it; short stories spread better than long stories.

    Rewrite the preamble to the LibDem constitution and sell it in a conversation.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 10th Jun '17 - 3:56pm

    A number of people above have been discussing the pros and cons of a leadership contest. It should be remembered that, under the Lib Dem constitution, it is compulsory to have a leadership contest within a year of a general election.

  • Peter Watson 10th Jun '17 - 4:01pm

    @Peter Watson “inconsistent juxtapositions: … Farron’s christian beliefs vs Farron’s liberal positions”
    I’m sure that talking to myself like this is not a good sign, but obviously there is nothing inherently inconsistent about christian and liberal beliefs. If anything, Tim Farron missed the opportunity to make this clear by appearing evasive on the issue. Current criticisms of the DUP revolve around the christian beliefs of some members and the illiberal, intolerant and unscientific positions associated with them. It would be a great shame if Tim Farron and other Christians were tarred with the same brush in the public mind,

  • So there will be a leadership contest? (I’ll admit to not knowing the constitution too well) I think the most important thing is the timing, we must make sure we actually get publicity from it. Personally I think we need a new leader but we also need a big change in how we are viewed by the public and much better policy.

  • Denis Loretto 10th Jun '17 - 6:14pm

    I think we need to look at targeting. In Bermondsey my impression was that we were not getting anything like the support we needed from members in other London and Home Counties seats (albeit much thanks to those who did come). However in the end it was clear that the Labour surge was such that no amount of extra campaigning would have saved Simon Hughes.

    But what about Sarah Olney in Richmond Park? Did she really get all the support she needed? I don’t know – I was too busy in Bermondsey but what I do gather is that someone had the crazy idea that Kate Hoey was vulnerable in next door Vauxhall and treated it as some kind of target. All this kind of stuff must be examined and a more sensible evidence – based system of decision making set up.

  • Katharine Pindar 10th Jun '17 - 7:57pm

    I think we have a function and a purpose this summer other than enjoying a holiday, going over disparate memories of how Tim was publicised and musing about a leadership contest in 2018! It is to engage with the negotiations over leaving the EU and make our presence felt. We have the knowledge and we have the commitment and the drive to be listened to on this, to help ensure the best possible outcomes, and we have moreover the economic heft of Vince Cable and the environmental reach of Ed Davey now to add in.

  • Michael Farrell 10th Jun '17 - 10:34pm

    This is not a bad result just two years after a massacre, with a leader that hasn’t connected and a misdirected national campaign. I can’t see the Tories wanting another election any time soon ; they’re going to hunker down and wait for Labour’s internal battles to take the shine off Corbyn once more.
    I think the lost deposits total is an issue-perhaps refusing to fund any candidate where we don’t have a sitting councillor would be a good motivator !

  • “I think the lost deposits total is an issue-perhaps refusing to fund any candidate where we don’t have a sitting councillor would be a good motivator !”

    Outside of target seats the national party doesn’t fund candidates.

  • Labour activist 11th Jun '17 - 10:19am

    Several of us (Labour Party activists) voted Lib Dem in our case for the first time ever and tried to help our Lib Dem colleagues. Reason was Brexit and the Lib Dem pledge for a second referendum.This, in a highly marginal seat. Real problems, lack of Lib Dem organisation on the ground, lack of the usual efficient Labour Party organisation on the ground. Then there were the leaflets, Jeremy Corbyn depicted in his Lenin hat and a claim in Ceredigion that Plaid Cymru were advocating a hard brexit. (probably losing the seat to Plaid) Then there was an obvious gap in any commitment to a progressive alliance either on the local council or nationally. So not again I am afraid, if the Lib Dems really want to work with Labour and vice versa it has to be on the basis of shared values and mutual respect.

  • Michael Farrell 11th Jun '17 - 2:45pm

    Thanks Hywel – I was wondering how the party could afford it.
    As you can probably tell I’m a fairly recent member.

  • We have LOST seats at every election since 2005. Last week we actually gained 3 seats (and missed 3 more by a whisker) when the electorate was confronted by a binary choice.
    Our vote share fell slightly because many LD supporters voted tactically for Labour to defeat the Tories’ hard Brexit plan..
    Despite the media attacks on him Tim Farron is the first LD leader since Charles Kennedy to increase our representation in parliament.
    His policy on Brexit will be vindicated in the long run.
    Our ultimate dream for this election was to double our seats & we only missed this by a couple of hundred votes.
    It was a great result for us & almost a fantastic one.
    Well done Tim!

  • Well said alan

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